It was tremendously exciting to get such positive feedback from visitors to our Wilding Weekend – some were ecstatic. It wasn’t just about the wilding we’ve done – they loved meeting other like-minded people and finding out more about what wilding might mean for them.
As many of you will know not everyone has the same idea about wilding or rewilding as it is also known. Is it simply a matter of letting ‘weeds’ grow? Should we be embracing the docks, nettles and thistles? Why is yellow rattle so important? Should ragwort be embraced or pulled out and burned? How can we encourage insects but grow vegetables? What wildlife have we managed to attract? Why is it an eco-crime to use peat in our gardens. We covered these issues and many more.
There were talks, tours, and stalls as well as things to buy and things to eat – lunches, cakes, cream teas, coffee, and homemade elderflower cordial. The Weekend was sponsored by Clipper Teas / Ecotone and supported by the National Garden Scheme (NGS). Thank you.
We were also promoting Operation Future Hope and their crowdfunding campaign to ‘Rewild Britain’s Schools’. Click here to go to support them – they’re still able to triple any donations you might make.
Our small land-holding in West Dorset has been transformed into a wildlife and wildflower haven. Each year we see more species appearing from hedgehogs to hares, numerous types of bees to bats and barn owls. This year we found the skin of a grass snake in our wetland and pond area. Newts, frogs, and toads are abundant. And anyone coming to the Wilding Weekend was able to see the myriad of moths that had been trapped the night before and were on display. We also organised a bat tour on the Saturday night and saw some swirling and swooping around our bat egg!
As well as the wildlife we had experts and enthusiasts, including representatives from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, The Great Big Dorset Hedge, West Dorset Wilding, The Dorset Mammal Group, The Dorset Bat Group, The Dorset Wildlife Trust, Real Wild Estates and Bee Happy Plants and Seeds.
A small selection of photos from the weekend: